Growing Tips: Johnny Jump-Up, Viola

Quick Reference:

A perennial that will bloom the first season and lives and flowers for multiple seasons thereafter. Seeds germinate in approximately 10 to 20 days with an optimum soil temperature of 65 degrees F. Cover with 1/8 inch fine soil, seed likes darkness to germinate. Seed spacing ½ to 1 inch. Spacing between plants in the garden, 6 to 9 inches. Plant height: 12 to 15 inches.

Where to plant:

Violas like full sun but will tolerate some light shade, prefer a rich, moist soil and grow well in cool weather.

Planting Instructions:

In Alaska it is recommended that this easy to grow perennial be planted directly in the garden as soon as the soil can be prepared and has warmed in the spring. For early bloom the first summer, start seed indoors 4 to 6 weeks before the last frost. Fill a container that has drainage holes with a sterilized potting soil, sprinkle seed on soil surface, seed must be completely covered, it requires darkness to germinate, water well for good seed-soil contact. Cover container with black plastic to provide darkness and reduce evaporation, keep soil moist. Remove plastic as soon as the seedlings start to sprout. When seedlings show their first green leaves water with a liquid solution of plant food and repeat every two weeks. As soon as the seedlings have 3 to 4 true leaves, transplant 2 or 3 seedlings in individual 2 inch plastic pots and grow in full sun where it is cool at night, 50 to 55 degrees F, until the garden is ready. Violas transplant easily. Cultivate the soil, enrich with plant food and organic matter and transplant seedlings outdoors after the soil as been prepared and has warmed, violas will withstand a light frost.

Care:

Keep soil moist and feed with plant food once during the summer. Picking faded blooms will promote more bloom. In cold areas plants readily reseed the following year.